Skip

Mind Games.
February 5, 2007 6:23 PM   Subscribe

Mind Games. "She speaks about her situation calmly, occasionally laughing at her own predicament and her struggle with what she originally thought was mental illness....Like Girard, Naylor describes what she calls "street theater" -- incidents that might be dismissed by others as coincidental, but which Naylor believes were set up. She noticed suspicious cars driving by her isolated vacation home. On an airplane, fellow passengers mimicked her every movement -- like mimes on a street." Link goes to a Washington Post story - reg. may be required.
posted by Sticherbeast (63 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite

 
The biggest hurdle for TIs is getting people to take their concerns seriously. A proposal made in 2001 by Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) to ban "psychotronic weapons" (another common term for mind-control technology) was hailed by TIs as a great step forward. But the bill was widely derided by bloggers and columnists and quickly dropped.

Kucinich is crazier then I thought. Or maybe he's the only sane one!
posted by delmoi at 6:59 PM on February 5, 2007


Girard sought advice from this then-girlfriend, a practicing psychologist, whom he declines to identify. He says she told him, "Nobody can become psychotic in their late 40s."

Actually the paranoid subtype of schizophrenia tends to manifest later in life (late onset can indeed present in the person's 40's) and can be less severely affecting to other aspects of the person's life. It's unfortunate that he's still holding on to this piece of advice as reinforcing evidence that he's not mentally disordered.
posted by saraswati at 7:12 PM on February 5, 2007


Hey, I remember this guy's ads in the Daily Pennsylvanian circa '89!

A MAN HARRASSED BY SOUND they all began, ultra-dramatic-like. Mmmm. This was about the same time a local crypto-Maoist activist committed suicide by self-immolation. High weirdness in the West Philly air, back in the day.

Dilute dilute OK.
posted by adamgreenfield at 7:18 PM on February 5, 2007


Years ago, I took a 9-1-1 call from someone who was well-respected and well-known in the community and who sounded otherwise sane. He had a story that was quite similar to this.

Someone had put speakers in his house and his car, he said, and had taped the voices of people he knew saying strange things. They would play these tapes to him in an attempt to make him think that he was crazy. At the time that he called, this had been going on for months and he was tired of it. He had ripped out most of his walls looking for the speakers but They must have hidden them very well. The most poignant thing that I remember him saying was that he was driving along in his car when his daughter said something to him from the backseat. He started to answer her when he remembered that she was with her mother (who had left him.) That's when he realized that They had put speakers in his car, too.

The problem arose when he realized that his neighbors were a part of Them, and either we sent someone out to deal with them, or he would.

I spoke with him for a good half hour in the middle of the night, and I swear that other than his belief that someone was playing voices at him, he sounded as lucid as anyone else.
posted by leftcoastbob at 7:27 PM on February 5, 2007


I get emails from these folks all the time at work--messages from passing airplanes, from "refrigerator reverb," from the Fox network's programming schedule. The Post article was heartbreaking; these folks are sure they're right, and there's no way to convince them otherwise.
posted by MrMoonPie at 7:36 PM on February 5, 2007


Kucinich's bill.
posted by MrMoonPie at 7:52 PM on February 5, 2007


I'm in ur mind, controllin' ur m00dz.
posted by Emo Squid at 7:54 PM on February 5, 2007


I'm surprised that the author of the article did not touch upon the non-microwave-related research, namely the "targeted" speakers that can be used to project sound to just one person. It wasn't military research, but rather commercial. I'm pretty sure there was a Wired article on it with the spin that one can just imagine a Coke machine whispering to you that you might like a nice cold one.

I have run across some of these people on the 'tubes before. One showed up in a physics group trying to find the thickness of tin foil that would best attenuate the various transmissions. It sounds perverse, but I have been tracking him for about four years now. First, I managed to hunt down someone in the administration of the university he left to make sure that someone knew (especially his parents) that he was off the leash. Now I just sort of look in on him occasionally to make sure the poor bastard is still alive.

The other one of these I know is my aunt.
posted by adipocere at 7:54 PM on February 5, 2007


aipocere, do you relise this makes you one of them? How does it feel to be working for the man?

In all seriousness thats a really cool random act of kindness on your part.
posted by Suparnova at 7:59 PM on February 5, 2007


Heartbreaking is right, MrMoonPie. I've had to deal with friends who were having psychotic breaks. They could be perfectly lucid and otherwise normal. I remember once I was visiting a friend who casually told me to run to my car once I left the house, because it was surrounded by nightdogs with gloweyes and if I dawdled they'd get me.
posted by Kattullus at 8:02 PM on February 5, 2007


bzzt. clank. woob woob woob!
posted by quonsar at 8:05 PM on February 5, 2007


My first job out of college was working for a Member of Congress as a Staff Assistant. A dull, low-level position that I often joked a chimpanzee could carry on better than I. During my tenure there I read a great many letters and spoke with quite a few people suffering from a variety of ‘psychological challenges’. It was my impression that many of these people saw Congress as a benevolent force and reached out to their representatives for help. I never met with any of them, but I would read there letters (I admit, at times it was for amusement) and talk with them when they called... BUT! No matter how far fetched and strange the material presented to me was, I maintained (and still do) suspicion that somewhere deep within all the material presented there might be some grains of truth. I’d equate it to sifting for gold in a riverbed. This is a strange, strange world we live in and I for one don't discount anything as completely impossible... this is essence of open-mindedness, is it not?
posted by Dr.James.Orin.Incandenza at 8:08 PM on February 5, 2007


Reading this I was struck by the community set up by the people who believe their minds are being controlled by the government. While reading the article I vacillated between thinking that it was harmful to thinking it was beneficial. This ease with which people with similar problems/experiences can link up globally is something that is unique to the internet era, and which I've always considered a great boon to society. Now I'm not so sure. Does the internet community make these people's lives easier, or does it amplify their illness and send them spiralling towards suicide?

Also, this is an extreme manifestation of something that exists in all humans, the ability to recognize patterns. It's like when people believe their iPods "favor" some songs or knows to put on particular songs in certain situations.
posted by Kattullus at 8:28 PM on February 5, 2007


Fascinating and frightening, in a "there but for the grace of genes/stability/company go I" kinda way.

I was an alarm company dispatcher for awhile and we had a couple of regulars like this. The cliched "someone is shortening my furniture" (no kidding) was the personal demon of one regular. And while weighed down with the job and more serious calls, it was considered by staff to be a mere nuisance, but I can't help but feel terrible for these people. Imagine how terrifying it would be to believe any of these things.
posted by dreamsign at 8:29 PM on February 5, 2007


I remember a guy who lived on my friends dorm floor in 1987-88. He thought the smoke detectors had cameras in them so he stole them from every room on the floor and put them in his mini fridge. The end came when his parents sent him very expensive speakers which he ripped apart looking for cameras. The parents picked him up soon after.

Everybody got charged for the smoke detectors and had to trudge down to the office to explain why they were gone.
posted by Ironmouth at 8:40 PM on February 5, 2007


Dr.James.Orin.Incandenza says "This is a strange, strange world we live in and I for one don't discount anything as completely impossible"

Yeah, you never really know...

They're so confident in their unwavering belief, you almost want to believe them, if only to release them from what seems to be a tremendous burden.
posted by spiderskull at 8:57 PM on February 5, 2007


When the time comes where we really are all under constant government surveillance, when targeted marketing matches up our retinal scans with some kind of consumer database and whispers about things we're most likely to blow some cash on, and when the ability to implant gadgetry in people's brains is feasible ... these folks will be well-adjusted and ahead of the rest of us.
posted by adipocere at 8:59 PM on February 5, 2007


They're so confident in their unwavering belief...

To me, that's the first sign that someone is delusional.
posted by wendell at 9:03 PM on February 5, 2007


It's real.

Thank your lucky stars you've never been targeted.
posted by rougy at 9:10 PM on February 5, 2007


Whether you believe what these people are saying, or dismiss them as crazy, you have to admit that the people in that article are very brave. That was terrifying.
posted by SassHat at 9:11 PM on February 5, 2007


While reading the article I vacillated between thinking that it was harmful to thinking it was beneficial. This ease with which people with similar problems/experiences can link up globally is something that is unique to the internet era, and which I've always considered a great boon to society. Now I'm not so sure. Does the internet community make these people's lives easier, or does it amplify their illness and send them spiralling towards suicide?

A classic example of this that has popped in and out of the media's headlights during the past few years is the newsgroup alt.suicide.holiday. It's always presented a sort of ethical quagmire for me. On one hand it offers a community of suicidally depressed individuals a chance to converse openly with one another about their illness, something that can actually change a person's mind on suicide. On the other hand community members will quite readily provide instruction on committing suicide to anyone who asks, regardless of if they're a terminally ill patient who wants to end their pain or a struggling teen who could be treated with professional help.

In the case of the group mentioned in the article I don't think any good can come of it. All they seem to be doing is feeding into each other's delusions and they will more than likely become dangerous to themselves or others in the future.
posted by saraswati at 9:12 PM on February 5, 2007


This kinda reminds me of an AskMe a while back where someone thought that people were tapping her phones and bugging her apartment and whatnot. I corresponded with her for a while, and yeah, she was either a schizo or a pure-o. Trying to talk her down, I realized how hard it must have been for my friends to talk me down back in my bad bad bad pure-o days.

The worst part is that these "government mind control victims" aren't important people. There's no reason why the government would expend so much time and effort to track them. However, they have absolutely no sense of this at all. There's no way to let them know this without being insulting, and even then, they still wouldn't believe you.

Besides, since when is the government that competent at doing anything?

Of course, that's just what THEY want me to think, right?
posted by Jake Apathy at 9:13 PM on February 5, 2007


If George H.W. Bush had access to advanced psychological methods, his son would not be a drunken idiot.
posted by Schmucko at 9:15 PM on February 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


I had a friend who suffered a mental break down that may or may not have been triggered by a home invasion (we don't know if it actually occurred or if he had done in post trigger to his break down) that led to his diagnosis as Bi Polar.

On another note, a friend of mine is the GM of a computer store. This was mentioned while he was in line at a coffee shop, and immediately the guy behind him started asking him questions. They seemed innocent at first, until he realized that this individual thought that his computer and dvd player were 'talking to each other' when he was asleep, which is why he couldn't get his microwave to work anymore.

The disturbing part is about such events, is that the individuals feel that they are operating in a sane frame of reference, and therefore do not question their perception, and follow what to them appears to be a logical conclusion. I can't be hearing voices, so there must be hidden speakers. At some point, some part of them may entertain the notion that they may in fact, not be percieving things properly, but can you yourself imagine having to come to terms with the fact that you are 'insane'? It's quite literally mind boogling to consider that you are an insane individual, and at that point, it would be much easier (and have less *immediate* negative impact on your concious)
to believe in fact that there are speakers hidden in your walls. You are in fact creating an explanation for circumstances that you can easily grasp with the tools you have available, and it slowly becomes the reality with which you decide to cope with life.

I think this is a process we all do, but somehow the law of averages works out that only very rare cases end up being discussed, when in fact they are just extreme examples of what every persons brain is doing. Their brain (as a learning adaptive organism meant to ensure the survival of itself) is working fine, it has just adapted to a very strange circumstance in a way that is different than the majority of population.

I have no idea how this turned into me talking about my own perceptiong of Affect theory.
posted by mrzarquon at 9:15 PM on February 5, 2007


See also this fascinating documentary, though it looks like the linked site is down again. (Executive summary: documentary filmmaker decides to profile local homeless tinfoil-hat guy, who makes many incredible claims about the government's interest in him and is particularly adamant that the Feds are stealing his mail. Filmmaker makes FOIA request for his FBI file. It consists almost entirely of hundreds of pages of the subject's mail, which the FBI has been collecting for no very clear reason.)
posted by IshmaelGraves at 9:22 PM on February 5, 2007 [2 favorites]


and addendum: I realize saying that their brain is working fine implies that medication / therapy is not important. I meant to say that the brain rarely "breaks" instead alternatives ways of coping with the experiences are created to continue functioning.
posted by mrzarquon at 9:23 PM on February 5, 2007


"There's no reason why the government would expend so much time and effort to track them."

That's kind of the point. These people are targets in as much as they are being used for practice, or experiment.

They are not the "end result" of the exercise.
posted by rougy at 9:23 PM on February 5, 2007


I have a lot of empathy for people who belive these things.

In grad school I started to become convinced that someone was taking pictures outside my windows every night and that they were knocking on my door and rattling my doorknobs. Never had this type of problem before, but over about a month these incidents got worse and worse (see me outside my window the next day looking for footprints). But, my doctor discovered it was a medication that I was on (for something pretty benign), and once I stopped taking it, these visions went away as if they never happened.

The thing is, it was as real as anything else to me. The mind is a very strange thing.
posted by UseyurBrain at 9:24 PM on February 5, 2007


Did anyone check out the Block EMF site mentioned in the article? I'm thinking about getting my brother the silver lined underwear for his birthday.
posted by figment of my conation at 9:30 PM on February 5, 2007


The book is coherent, if hard to believe. It's also marked by disturbing passages describing how Jewish American agents were responsible for Naylor's surveillance.

I was wondering when the Jews would enter the picture. We're like the Kevin Bacon of the conspiracy world.
posted by Afroblanco at 9:36 PM on February 5, 2007 [2 favorites]


Also, I'd like to rant a bit:
In response to a Freedom of Information Act request filed for this article, the Air Force released unclassified documents surrounding that 2002 patent -- records that note that the patent was based on human experimentation in October 1994 at the Air Force lab, where scientists were able to transmit phrases into the heads of human subjects, albeit with marginal intelligibility.
Reporters of the world: would it really kill you to cite your sources once in a blue moon so we can decide if you're full of shit or not? Because this sounds wildly implausible to me, given the crudity of our current understanding of the brain, but apparently it's beneath you to actually give me any identifying information about this research (like, say, a patent number or title) such that I might draw my own conclusions. Really, it's OK if us proles are allowed to obtain information from a source other than the daily paper once in a while.
posted by IshmaelGraves at 9:43 PM on February 5, 2007


Does the internet community make these people's lives easier, or does it amplify their illness and send them spiralling towards suicide?

Reminds me of Morgellons disease.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 9:49 PM on February 5, 2007


"This is a strange, strange world we live in and I for one don't discount anything as completely impossible"

I can't tell if you're posting in character or not. MY BOOKSHELF IS TALKING TO ME.
posted by carsonb at 10:02 PM on February 5, 2007


This article and thread are very Philip K. Dick.
posted by Afroblanco at 10:06 PM on February 5, 2007


Afroblanco: When I read that TIs had formed a mutual-aid support group, I flashed on PKD's Clans of the Alphane Moon.
posted by AsYouKnow Bob at 10:24 PM on February 5, 2007


There are all sorts of ways to make voices appear in your ears electromagnetically with transduction or using high-frequency sound waves and acoustic heterodyning. If memory serves, there was even some transduction gizmo you could build from a kit as a curiosity item about 10 years ago, though the sound quality was VERY grainy.

Perhaps some very small fraction of these people who hear voices are actually driven nuts by the government using one or more of these tricks with perhaps drugs too. However, it could be that every one of them is in fact schizophrenic.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 10:24 PM on February 5, 2007


"Where do you put the tinfoil?" a man asks.
"Anywhere, everywhere," she replies. "I even put it in a hat."


Okay I have chosen over the years to believe in the possibility of a lot of crazy stuff. Aliens. Bigfoot. Sea Monsters. Atlantis. Ghosts. Bermuda Triangle. Elvis never really died. Republicans actually like people.

That individuals are being randomly targetted to have voices sent to their skull? This is just people wishing they were special. They're not.

I wanna join the support group for individuals who never get picked for government study, never accidently happen upon aliens, never get to see ghosts or sea monsters, never find themselves accidently lost in a wormhole or alternate reality or never happening upon allegedly dead celebrities trying to live a normal life... I wanna join the support group for people for whom life is irrevocably and horrendously normal.

The Walter Mittys of the world. Cuz none of this cool stuff EVER happens to me. All these other people claim it does. I think they're lying, cuz they want people to think weird cool stuff happens to them, and it doesn't. Cuz weird cool stuff only happens in today's society to people who can afford to hire people to pretend to do that kinda weird cool stuff around them.

I hear that people win the lottery but all I got is hearsay. I don't think it ever actually happens and I'm just paying idiot tax every time I buy a damn ticket.
posted by ZachsMind at 11:02 PM on February 5, 2007


I'm kind of disappointed Sticherbeast beat me to this post, because it really deserves a much better treatment. It should have included some of the TI support sites like Gang Stalking World, Mind Control Forums, the Advocacy Committee for Human Experimentation
Survivors & Mind Control
, Satellite Surveillance & Human Experimentation & probably a pointer to technical information like the Wikipedia page on the Frey Effect. There, that should give you all something substantial to chew on.
posted by scalefree at 11:05 PM on February 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


Perhaps I'm more empathetic these days because of a few bad trips. I recall perceiving people on the street saying terrible things about me -- shouting them -- and when I would force myself to look at them they would be talking pleasantly and not paying me any attention whatosever. And I recall lying in the bunk of a hostel where the only unusual effect of the trip was completely unhinging that part of you that determines the degree to which you are in danger -- everything was screaming that I was about to die -- one of these strangers would surely try to kill me any second, and while I knew that not long before, I felt that this hostel was safe, the street was safe, things were ok, I could not for the life of me figure out which perception was actually the correct one.

Also, this: On an airplane, fellow passengers mimicked her every movement -- like mimes on a street is fucking nightmare imagery.
posted by dreamsign at 1:32 AM on February 6, 2007


I was wondering when the Jews would enter the picture. We're like the Kevin Bacon of the conspiracy world.

I propose propagating the meme that giant shapeshifting lizards are the new Jews.

Note that schizophrenics keep up to date. No one any longer believes they're Napoleon, for example. And delusions of being cursed by witches, often referred to in older psychiatry textbooks, are pretty rare today. The CIA and FBI, though, are a popular delusional focus. If there is anti-semitic conspiracy stuff floating around in the culture, a schizophrenic may well latch on to it.

Naylor describes what she calls "street theater" -- incidents that might be dismissed by others as coincidental, but which Naylor believes were set up. She noticed suspicious cars driving by her isolated vacation home. On an airplane, fellow passengers mimicked her every movement -- like mimes on a street.


This is classic schizophrenic stuff. It's known as a 'delusion of reference': the schizophrenic thinks that random events refer to him. A family sit-com on TV might be perceived as a mockery of the person's own family, for instance.

Also, this is an extreme manifestation of something that exists in all humans, the ability to recognize patterns.


Yep. I find it fascinating about schizophrenia that some of its features are exaggerations of normal human techniques of cognition.

It consists almost entirely of hundreds of pages of the subject's mail, which the FBI has been collecting for no very clear reason.

I'd guess the reason is that if this obviously deranged person starts talking about wanting to kill someone, the FBI would pass the file along to his local police department.
posted by Slithy_Tove at 1:39 AM on February 6, 2007 [1 favorite]


Good points - but it doesn't mean that somebody out there isn't fucking with people.

Just because you're paranoid, doesn't mean they're not out to get you.

The real tragedy about suffering from some kind of operant-conditioning "Sting" operation is that you can't tell anybody about it.

The scars are deep, and they last forever.

May the fuckers burn in hell.
posted by rougy at 2:04 AM on February 6, 2007


Kind of one of those silence being conspiracy things.

I also think that these things happen, and that it's wrong.

The bill by Kucinich seems to be crazy in the Gnarls Barkley way, it is directly, and correctly, addressing a taboo topic.

Especially given that one need not even believe that these things currently happen, but instead we could just state that it would be a bad idea.

Electronic prison camps with no oversight or due process, let's forget the question of whether or not that is a thing which really happens now, and let us simply say that that would be an evil. When I hold my hands in front of my chest as scales, freedom wins out over tyranny.

I think there is a real potential battleground between psychology and philosophy. Cognito ergo sum is a great way to look at the world, including all the strange things one can hear, and if your government decides to force you to undergo electroshock because you insist that you may be a disembodied intellect, then that is wrong, again.

Just always recall that your actions in this world must be consistently faithful to the laws which have been given to us as the just good laws, and then past that fight for those things which you believe, or even fancifully think, as being of your own domain.
posted by nervousfritz at 3:22 AM on February 6, 2007


Sharon Weinberger has a blog. Here's the post that goes with this article.
posted by dansdata at 3:23 AM on February 6, 2007


Good god, dansdata, Ms. Weinberger has gone native.
posted by Slithy_Tove at 3:40 AM on February 6, 2007


The real tragedy about suffering from some kind of operant-conditioning "Sting" operation is that you can't tell anybody about it. The scars are deep, and they last forever.

And just when I thought I was healed, the Police will show up on the Grammys telling me my mother (deceased) is on the phone.
posted by hal9k at 4:17 AM on February 6, 2007


I wanna join the support group for individuals who never get picked for government study, never accidently happen upon aliens, never get to see ghosts or sea monsters, never find themselves accidently lost in a wormhole or alternate reality or never happening upon allegedly dead celebrities trying to live a normal life... I wanna join the support group for people for whom life is irrevocably and horrendously normal.

Isn't that... Metafilter?

But for anyone who thinks that all TIs are mentally ill people [...] I suggest you check out some of the extremely sane tactics they employ. For example, their organized response to the article would make some political campaigns jealous [from Sharon Weinberger's blog]

Also, damn stereotypes are messing things up again. Most mentally ill people act perfectly sane 99% of the time. Just because people are rational, doesn't mean they're not crazy.
posted by Kattullus at 5:07 AM on February 6, 2007


but can you yourself imagine having to come to terms with the fact that you are 'insane'? It's quite literally mind boogling to consider that you are an insane individual, and at that point, it would be much easier (and have less *immediate* negative impact on your concious) to believe in fact that there are speakers hidden in your walls.

I find this hard to understand. It's easier to believe the entire world is mad than that you're having a hallucination? Perhaps I'm just used to it, but having had neurological problems myself, it seems much easier to think of it as an individual problem than as the result of something far more complex and unlikely. The government may eventually be able to do this kind of thing, which is an interesting turning point in history, but people have been hearing voices for centuries (julian jaynes suggests we all used to hear them...).

Are there rational schizophrenics? ie, people who have the hallucinations but are able to interpret them as hallucinations? it's interesting that the guy in this story spoke about how he knows it's real the same way you know the difference between dreams & reality. But that's the thing: you don't know dreams aren't real until you wake up. That's what's so amazing about them. I have certainly had dreams I was shocked to wake up from...
posted by mdn at 5:35 AM on February 6, 2007


Are there rational schizophrenics? ie, people who have the hallucinations but are able to interpret them as hallucinations?

Absolutely. There are many who can sublimate their "visions" into everyday life. Like who? Well, many. Name one. Me. Right, "Mr. Sublimation" knows just all about this. Seriously. Shut up. Who are you to tell me to shut up? Egad, you just wasted a post. Take a walk or something. And stop typing before the spiders wake u
posted by hal9k at 6:12 AM on February 6, 2007


This is indeed a heartbreaking subject, and I appreciate the post. But I have to say I laughed at this:

(On the online forum, some TIs posted vociferous objections to the parallel [with people who believe they've been kidnapped by aliens], concerned that the public finds UFOs even weirder than mind control. "It will keep us all marginalized and discredited," one griped.)

"We tinfoil-hat people object to being classed with those crazy alien-abduction people!"
posted by languagehat at 6:14 AM on February 6, 2007


I propose propagating the meme that giant shapeshifting lizards are the new Jews.

You are, of course, assuming that we Jews aren't giant shapeshifting lizards! It appears that our mind-control rays are working....

Seriously, though, about the TI thing - sorry to pop anyone's bubble, but I gotta bust out Occam's Razor at this point. Sure, it's always a possibility that these people are being monitored by secret government gizmos. However, it's a lot more probable that they just have mental problems.

Also - even if the government did have these weapons, why would they have to test them out on unsuspecting citizenry? Doesn't that strike anyone as a tad unnecessary? Aren't there better, more ethical ways of testing nonlethal weapons?
posted by Afroblanco at 7:30 AM on February 6, 2007


Aren't there better, more ethical ways of testing nonlethal weapons?
posted by Afroblanco


Talk about delusional!!!

Since when did the U.S. government worry about better, more ethical ways of testing anything?

Remember the Tuskegee syphilis experiment? How about military personnel and LSD?

You can present rationale for your belief that these people have "mental problems", but to imply that this government wouldn't do it if they could, is more than a tad naive.
posted by leftcoastbob at 8:09 AM on February 6, 2007


You can present rationale for your belief that these people have "mental problems", but to imply that this government wouldn't do it if they could, is more than a tad naive.

Not saying that they wouldn't do it, or haven't done it. Just saying that there are better, more ethical ways of testing these weapons.

You disagree?
posted by Afroblanco at 8:15 AM on February 6, 2007


Obviously, I don't disagree that there are better, more ethical ways of testing these weapons, Afroblanco. But when you ask, "Also - even if the government did have these weapons, why would they have to test them out on unsuspecting citizenry? Doesn't that strike anyone as a tad unnecessary?" it rather sounds as though you are asking why they would test them on an unsuspecting citizenry. Well, they did just that with the two other experiments I mentioned, and who knows how many more that we don't even know about.
posted by leftcoastbob at 8:54 AM on February 6, 2007


You can present rationale for your belief that these people have "mental problems", but to imply that this government wouldn't do it if they could, is more than a tad naive.

I am willing to imply, nay, state that the FBI would not convince an airplane full of people to engage in a spontaneous mime routine imitating a woman, hire an old lady to drive past someone and wag her finger ominously, or commandeer an entire cruise just to get passengers to put on "performances" with secret meanings known only to the subjects of their experiments.

If the government did want to perform experiments to see if they could control people's minds, they would want a controlled environment where they can observe and record the results. I fail to see the strategic intelligence value in mocking the abilities of authors and doctors in their own homes, or in giving people boners at inopportune moments.

And rougy, seriously, seek professional help.
posted by designbot at 9:38 AM on February 6, 2007


it rather sounds as though you are asking why they would test them on an unsuspecting citizenry.

If you look at my comment, you'll see that I wasn't saying that the government wouldn't test on unsuspecting citizenry. I was saying that the government wouldn't have to. There's a big difference.
posted by Afroblanco at 10:06 AM on February 6, 2007


"Where do you put the tinfoil?" a man asks.

"Anywhere, everywhere," she replies. "I even put it in a hat."

posted by tehloki at 10:55 AM on February 6, 2007


Spy chips: VeriChip implants; RFIDs, Tracking everything, everywhere. RFIDs in money.

"For instance, will nanoscience widen the gap between the haves and the have-nots? Assume for a moment that implanting a nanochip in your brain could radically boost your memory...Or what if sensors, microprocessors, and storage devices were embedded in materials, clothing, or structures—what kind of privacy issues would follow? What if bionanodevices could be used to change DNA, our fundamental human blueprint?"
posted by nickyskye at 11:30 AM on February 6, 2007


mdn-

Thats the point. To the individual they may make small logical steps (maybe I am hearing the people talking upstairs) then they find out about tiny speakers (or notice how pervasive the technology already is) then they find a support group that reinforces their conceptions of what is happening to them.

I am not saying that they are making logical choices in the broader world view, but what they consider logical given their circumstances. They have created their own logic system around which their suffering is based, in an attempt to minimize the damage of whatever emotional stress or event that is actually causing the stress. The big problem is they never confront the issue that is actually causing this in the first place. And in some cases the issue doesn't even exist anymore, but now they are dealing with the residual effects of it.

My friend who had the mental break down suffered it a few weeks after he had found out that he had botched an election nomination for the campaign he was working on. As a result his entire world was turned upside down. Instead of admitting that his own error is what caused the problem, he became obsessed with a conservative conspiracy in our local college town perpetrated by the leader of the college conservatives with the help of a former member's father who was a speech writer for Nixon.
posted by mrzarquon at 11:40 AM on February 6, 2007


mrzarquon - having experienced an episode like this first hand, I think you're right, especially the part about "...but what they consider logical given their circumstances...".

In my case, a collection of magical coincidences 25 years ago led me to construct an alternative view of reality, which was so thoroughly convincing that it changed everything for me and my family. Fortunately, I've never had much use for conspiracies, so my new world view got readjusted over the next couple of months, until I spiralled into depression and eventual normality. :-) The delusion of reference mentioned by Slithy_Tove above is very distracting, although it's one of the things I look back on as an indication that I actually do know where reality lies (ummm, now).

Mark me down as very happy that there wasn't anyone around to fill my head with gibberish while I was susceptible.
posted by sneebler at 12:53 PM on February 6, 2007


Afroblanco

Not to mention more that there are far more reliable ways of testing if something works. What makes more sense: using such a device on people who've volunteered for the experiment and who you can easily keep track of, or using it on John Q. Public and waiting for some of them to start howling about voices in their head?
posted by Target Practice at 1:17 PM on February 6, 2007


People can suffer from delusions and the government can be evil in experimenting. Lots of room for not knowing.

Inside the mind control conspiracy from DefenseTech.

The Hearing Voices Movement, Wikipedia.

Non-lethal weapons symposium. "The sensations modality (pricking, touch, pressure, gooseflesh, touch, burning pain etc) depends on the field parameters and individual concrete human being factors. As a matter of fact, we can really choose the non-lethal bioeffect."

Pain ray headed to Iraq?

From SharonWeinberger.com: "One final thought: Some of the documents I dug up through a Freedom of Information Act request indeed confirmed that the Air Force Research Laboratory patented a device to send sounds and voices into someone’s head as a 'psychological warfare tool.'

So, I guess that begs the obvious question: even if you dismiss everyone who claims they are a victim of mind-invading technology, what do you think the Pentagon plans to do with such a device?' "

From DefenseTech.org: Air Force Plan: Hack Your Nervous System.
posted by nickyskye at 1:34 PM on February 6, 2007


*Inside the mind control conspiracy from DefenseTech
posted by nickyskye at 4:22 PM on February 6, 2007


mrzarquon - what's the point? You suggested it would be easier to believe that the whole world is plotting against you than to believe your brain was misfiring. I can't relate to that, having had hallucinations and having understood them to be hallucinations, even when they seemed very real. But I can separate the issue rationally and conclude which is actually more likely to be the case, despite the force of the hallucinations themselves.

My question was, are there people who have auditory hallucinations in the form of other voices who understand them as such, or do all people who hear voices interpret them as "real"? Either the direct symptoms of schizophrenia can sometimes be classified as another disease which does not include delusion (ie, just getting the voices but understanding that they are hallucinatory) or there is something about auditory hallucination which intertwines this delusional aspect more completely.

These are people who've been hearing things for 20 years and still don't take seriously the possibility that it's a neurological problem. Socrates may have believed he was being visited by god, but that was in a different time; these days most epileptics are quite interested in the way the symptoms are created by our neural networks, etc, rather than insisting that visual or olfactory hallucinations are something external.
posted by mdn at 7:46 PM on February 6, 2007


« Older How to Shower.   |   God spelled backwards is doG. Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post